Office Jargon to Remove from Your Vocabulary
If my twin sister Ann or I ever spoke or wrote unimaginative pablum like this, our mother would wash our mouths out with Strunk & White. If she met your guy, she would throw him under a real bus. No metaphor there. I know a lot of smart people in the business world, and they have the same reaction my mother does when she sees sawdust in the sausage:
think outside the box – he doesn’t
if at all possible – I guess if it’s not possible, don’t worry about it
let’s face facts – nawww
by way of background – one of the many routes from Boston to Newport
let me explain what I mean – why didn’t you do that the first time?
And my all-time favorite: It is what it is. Oh my, how can you argue with that?
I propose we put everyone who speaks Corporatese on an island and let them hackney each other to death. But I don’t know if there’s an island big enough. Maybe Antarctica. Until that day, here’s my advice: Hang this guy off a scaffold with the window-washer. Before you haul him in, have him vow:
I will no longer drill down, circle back, reach out, lawyer up, or impact the bottom line.
I will never mention a hard stop, deep dive, game plan, food chain, or rodeo.
I will not drink the Kool-Aid, move the needle, press the flesh, peel the onion, or shoot the puppy.
I will stop implementing, facilitating, impacting, and accessing.
I will do nothing from the get go or going forward.
I will not pursue low-hanging fruit or cut bait, and tiger teams will remain cartoons busting out of gas tanks and cereal boxes.
I will not have a dog in the fight.
Then tell him that in place of all those stale expressions to use real words. No slang. No jargon. Instead of impactful use “effective,” because people then concentrate on the meaning of the sentence, not the jarring of the jargon.
Even better advice: Put the cue back in the rack and let him ramble in Corporatese. You will get the promotion, and he’ll still be officing next to where your office used to be. Or give me his name, and I’ll have Mother kill him.